Saturday, December 11, 2010

I am Thankful for the Seasons of God’s Silence

Of truth I would that God spoke verbally to me every day. Life would be so much easier if He would direct my path with specific, timely, contextual directives each morning. Instead, His pattern is to surreptitiously confront me with opportunities to discern His leading.

WWJD is an entertaining approach to decision making, but it fails to provide assurance God is leading us. The question I keep asking myself is WITWIGSN, what in the world is God saying now. We should always endeavor to live our lives according to the righteous standard set by Jesus (WWJD). But His promise was that He would be with us, His Spirit would lead and teach us. He is not some idealized pattern for life; He is life.

If Jesus is present and His Spirit is teaching me, why can’t I hear them more clearly more often? The answer lies in the fact that God speaks in all the languages we are capable of comprehending and most of those languages are non-verbal. The Hebrew word for “word” (debar) embraces all acts of communication, “words” and actions. A word (word or action) always flows out of a person as a revelation to the intended recipient.

God is speaking in all the events of our lives. He orders our paths and directs our feet causing all things to work together for our good, and this for all who love Him and are called according to His purposes. In every good event and every crises and all the mundane in between, God is speaking. The question of importance is not whether I am making wise decisions, but whether I know Him as Sovereign Lord of all of the dimensions of my life. What is God saying now?

In my experience, God’s words to me are often shouted in silence. He speaks not through the English language but through the circumstances of life. And His message is not always one of understanding but one of trust. “Do you trust me?”

Trusting Him, in His providential care, is stressful at times, frightening at others, and confusing at still others. The Christian life is by faith and not by sight or sound. Do I really believe God is acting in my behalf at all times and in all circumstances? Do I really believe Jesus is with me when my spirit knows only the chasm of silence?

I do not enjoy those seasons of silence, but I am thankful for them. In them and their companion, despair, I learn much more of God than my feeble English language can comprehend. In those times, He gives Himself to me as the very foundation of my being, the breath of my living, the fountain of my affections and I know Him, the “I AM That I Am.” And so I have come to know that He gives Himself, not just His thoughts or His ideas, but Himself, to me when He speaks through language and when He speaks through events.

I have also learned that I am deaf to His words when I grovel in self-pity and especially when I grumble against the Great I Am.

Thoughts from near Polk County.

Cleveland, Tennessee
December 11, 2010

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